Warning: This resource may contain references to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who may have passed away.


[Episode 26 | Before Time : Barangaroo]

Barangaroo and Mung collect yabbies for the cook-off. When Barangaroo returns to the camp she finds that Mung has gone missing in Mumuga country, so she and her friends go searching for him.


The Australian curriculum: English

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The Australian Curriculum: English aims to ensure that students:

  • learn to listen to, read, view, speak, write, create and reflect on increasingly complex and sophisticated spoken, written and multimodal texts across a growing range of contexts with accuracy, fluency and purpose
  • appreciate, enjoy and use the English language in all its variations and develop a sense of its richness and power to evoke feelings, convey information, form ideas, facilitate interaction with others, entertain, persuade and argue
  • understand how Standard Australian English works in its spoken and written forms and in combination with non-linguistic forms of communication to create meaning
  • develop interest and skills in inquiring into the aesthetic aspects of texts, and develop an informed appreciation of literature.

English activities [2]

Activity 1: Fear
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Subtheme(s): Beliefs; Character; Indigenous perspectives
  • As a class, view the clip and focus attention on the opening shot of the Mumuga's mountain. Draw students' attention to the use of loud and foreboding music, mist, a close-up, and Mung's frightened assertion. These are various ways that the filmmaker creates a sense of fear for the audience. Ask students to evaluate the effectiveness of these techniques to convey meaning and expression. Students can show their response by placing themselves on an imaginary line that ranges from completely effective at one end to not at all effective at the other.
  • As a class, list the different camera angles used to deliver a sense of foreboding about the Mumuga. Students should also assess the style and tempo of the music used to enhance audience response.
  • As a class, find out about different Indigenous stories in your local area or research stories from a particular country/language group across Australia. These stories are often oral traditions that have been passed down from one generation to the next. Some may be traditional stories that have been passed down over hundreds of thousands of years while others will be more recent, contemporary stories. Many have now been written down. 
  • Stories may include life histories (individual or collective), spiritual narratives (including creation stories) and cultural practices (teachings about ways of doing things, seeing things and being). Some of these stories are meant to evoke 'fear' in the reader which is important in the art of children's storytelling. Ask students to suggest reasons why the story is written in this way and how it would act as a warning to children.
  • Ask students to research and find many different types of Indigenous stories and Indigenous writers. Have students choose one Indigenous story from their local area or from a particular language group or region across Australia. They should consider the following questions about the story and respond using Student Activity Sheet E26.3: Fear.
  1. Who are the main characters in the story?
  2. What is the setting? What country and/or people is it connected to?
  3. What happens and how is it linked to the place?
  4. How does the story end?
  5. Does it have a particular message and if so what is it?
  6. How is 'fear' translated in the story?
  7. Why was 'fear' used in the story?

  • Find examples of Indigenous children's book writers using the following websites:
  1. Austral Ed, 'Children's Books - Books about Australian Indigenous Peoples', www.australed.iinet.net.au/aust_aborigines.html
  2. ABC, 'Us Mob', www.abc.net.au/usmob/
  • Ask students to design the front and back covers of a storybook for their chosen Indigenous story. On the front they need to include the title, the author's name and a meaningful illustration that draws the viewer's attention. On the back they should write a short summary of the story without giving the ending away. Refer students to Student Activity Sheet E26.3: Fear.


Activity 2: Leadership
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Subtheme(s): Character; Gender roles and stereotypes; Indigenous perspectives
  • Prior to watching this clip, discuss with students the ideas of leadership, working as a team and facing your fears. Brainstorm things that students are frightened of and list the ways they have tried to overcome those fears. 
  • As a class, view the clip and focus on the part in which Barangaroo and Mung are catching yabbies. Ask the students to respond to the following questions: 
  1. How is Barangaroo catching yabbies?
  2. How is Mung catching yabbies?
  3. What does Barangaroo say to Mung that makes him leave?
  4. How do you think it may have made him feel?
  • Have students focus on the part when Barangaroo returns to the camp site. Ask students the following questions:
  1. Why is Wiyanga angry with Barangaroo?
  2. Where does Barangaroo think Mani has gone?
  3. What is her reason for thinking this?
  4. Who is the first to go to find Mung?
  5. What are the two reasons given by Mani's friends for why they don't want to go into the Mumuga's cave?
  6. What does Mani say to convince them to stay?
  • Barangaroo wants to be considered the leader of the children. Ask students to list how she proves that she is a good leader. Ask students to list what they feel makes her a good leader.

  • Ask students to write an action plan for Barangaroo and her friends that they could use to find Mung. They need to work as a team and systematically list the stages of the search and who is responsible for searching particular areas. Make sure that the plan elects Barangaroo as the leader. It should articulate her role to oversee the search plan.
  • The action plan instructions could include tools the children might need, a map of the territory with an escape route drawn on it, and a list of food items they could take with them.
  • Students need to keep to the authentic time and setting of the clip. They should complete research into how Indigenous Australians lived and what resources they utilised through their understanding of their environment.


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